Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

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Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Thanks Arnie, always great advice.

now, one thing which bugs me is that this bit of molding has warped with heat. 

 

[img]https://image.ibb.co/nC3bqm/Side_Molding.jpg[/img]

https://image.ibb.co/nC3bqm/Side_Molding.jpg

it's the bit under the door but near the side step. No idea how to find a part number for it. Any ideas? I went to the MB approved bodyshop today for some estimate to include this and other cosmetic work but I expect them to take the proverbial on pricing. 

What part number is this? 

then off to the diagnostic on Thursday.

thanks 

Theo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

The desire for a softer suspension is understandable but it needs some research;I doubt that adjustable dampers will result in any improvement without changing springs and I have never heard any positive feedback re the Brabus adjustable system;  I'm under the impression that the G63 has a more comfortable set-up than the G55, I would look at the parts numbers for springs/ dampers to see whether there are differences;  I know people who fitted their G55s with a G500 spring/ damper combination, however, the already tricky front-end traction will get more difficult, i.e turning and accelerating needs a sensitive touch.

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Start by removing the existing parts. The centre strip is a hinged flap that will flip up from the bottom, revealing the attachment screws. It's common for these parts to do this in the corners and it's usually caused - in the UK -  by rusting screws. It could also  be the that the plastic plugs that that hold the screws have come out. I think you may not need a new part, but the part number will be on the rear of the strip. (I'll have a look later on my EPC for the part number, if I get a moment). In any case if you have a local MB dealer, they will tell you the price, but expect around £100 each.

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Arnie wrote:

Start by removing the existing parts. The centre strip is a hinged flap that will flip up from the bottom, revealing the attachment screws. It's common for these parts to do this in the corners and it's usually caused - in the UK -  by rusting screws. It could also  be the that the plastic plugs that that hold the screws have come out. I think you may not need a new part, but the part number will be on the rear of the strip. (I'll have a look later on my EPC for the part number, if I get a moment). In any case if you have a local MB dealer, they will tell you the price, but expect around £100 each.

 

 

Thanks Arnie. I have seen the other thread. I emailed the local MB - I am waiting for a spare key from them. I'll have a look at the weekend. The plastic is warped and it's quite hard materials so I don't know if it will get back into shape. 

 

On the suspension, the 63 rides a little bit better than the 55 for sure. A lot of these cars in Dubai had Fox shocks fitted to them. I'm not desperate for the ride change, first thing is full alignment and tracking as well as a proper look at the full transmission fluids (transfer case and rear diff - front was done in May)

 

 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Get the auto-transmission fluid changed as MB now admits that 'filled for life' = 60,000 km and there is actually a technical bulletin advising this. The brake-bands in the transmission leach carbon, which degrades the fluid. After the first change, it may be considered 'lifetime fill' thereafter. (It's also difficult to drain all the fluid as about 40% remains in the torque converter and most gearboxes no longer had a drain-plug for that. In this case you may want two fluid changes to get to a high % of new fluid, but even one change will have a major benefit)

As for the dampers, I have no experience of a G55 or G63, so you  may want to take other advice on that. But I have tried to fit G55 AMG shocks to a G300 and even with 16" wheels and tall tyres, the interior was being shaken to bits. and that was with standard (soft) springs. Then I noticed many G55 AMG damper sets going for around £400 (all labeled as just removed from new vehicle) being sold on eBay, so obviously others were also not happy with them.


My G400 had standard shocks (which are gas-pressure Bilsteins) and i found those too hard for anything but smooth autoroutes, so swapped to pre-adjustable Koni's. I think it depends on what you are used to and obviously the performance characteristics of the vehicle model will describe the permissible safety and handling boundaries. For me, the best and most comfortable ride is on my G300E with 16" wheels, standard springs and standard Sachs shocks, but then I don't pretend to take corners at 60 mph with that. The weight of the engine also plays a part, so for example the heavy diesel in the G400 needs a somewhat harder suspension than the G300.

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Good advice on the transmission. I'm trying to do as much preventive maintenance now and then keep it in top shape. 

This includes the bushings. I am sure they were never changed and with Dubai heat they won't be in good shape. That's another job for the indie. I'll see them on Thursday with a long-ish list. 

 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Note that if an Indie is to carry out your transmission fluid change, it's NOT ordinary Dexron-II / III fluid. It's a high-spec, synthetic fluid, available from your local MB dealer at around £15 per litre and you will need maybe 8 - 10  litres. It's also available/manufactured by Fuchs. Check list of approved MB transmission fluids and quantities.


If you have the 7 speed transmission, here is a description of the job (looks like it has a torque converter drain plug)

https://mbworld.org/forums/c-class-w203/365242-diy-722-9-7g-tronic-7-speed-automatic-transmission-service-thread.html

If you have the 5-speed, then it's not much different.

 

The only metal/rubber bushings that require a press tool are the inserts in the radius arms, two on each (about £45 each from MB). The radius arms also have some rubber do-nuts  where they attach to the chassis. Some outfits offer polyurethane versions, which are higher performance​

Then you have rubber bushes on the brackets that attach the anti-roll bars to the chassis. These are very prone to wear. (about £20 each x 2, for the front). Again, PU versions may be available. 

The shock absorbers also have rubber bushes on the mounting rings and rubber washer pads, which are available separately. Finally there are the rubber, bump-stops on the spring towers.

I doubt that you would need to replace all of them. The radius arm bushes are very tough and don't normally fail.


What does perish is the rubber boots on the various ball-joints of the front steering and track rods and you can buy generic replacements for these, but to fit them requires disassembling the joints.

Also, you if you are concerned about rubber degradation, there are the brake hoses. For these I would recommend Goodrich replacements which are PTFE and stainless steel braided with stainless-steel fittings and are relatively inexpensive (about £70 for one set)


https://www.goodridge.co.uk/collections/vendors?q=mercedes&constraint=type_car-brake-kit+model_g-wagon-463+variant_1991


Check with the UK factory against your existing length in case the AMG version you have requires slightly longer or shorter.

 

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Wow, very comprehensive. 

on the transmission fluid, I'll check with MB locally. It's the 5 speed unit on mine. (old school slushbox)

On the bushes, I'll have the indie check it as I don't quite fancy the £160 per hour labour costs at MB. 

brake lines are good, we had them inspected in Dubai in June, but good to know. 

 

Ah, and after fitting the 2017 NAV DVD update - a 2007 nav system is pants - it turns out I have TV :) - not that I'd need it but fun to see the Big Bang Theory come up :)

 

Very happy to have the car back. Mine is not a show piece, first duty was a tip trip with lots of garden rubble and other  bits. that rubber boot liner was a great purchase. 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

The 5-speed box is pretty-much bomb-proof and  actually more robust than the 7-speed, which has been plagued by various problems of early failures and harsh and random shifting. Some 5-speeds (early ones) had a TC drain plug; others not. You probably have a dipstick tube at the rear of the engine bay, capped-off with a black cap with a red seal-tab. You can break the seal, remove the cap and insert a dipstick (bought from MB) to measure fluid levels when you  refill. (Unfortunately the special dipstick is too long, and cannot remain in the tube, but the cap can be refitted, even without the tamper seal.)

guides:

http://www.mercedesmedic.com/diy-transmission-oil-change-722-6/

http://www.rubicon-trail.com/pdf/722.6oil-change.pdf

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1334827-photo-diy-722-6x-transmission-fluid.html

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Arnie wrote:

The 5-speed box is pretty-much bomb-proof and  actually more robust than the 7-speed, which has been plagued by various problems of early failures and harsh and random shifting. Some 5-speeds (early ones) had a TC drain plug; others not. You probably have a dipstick tube at the rear of the engine bay, capped-off with a black cap with a red seal-tab. You can break the seal, remove the cap and insert a dipstick (bought from MB) to measure fluid levels when you  refill. (Unfortunately the special dipstick is too long, and cannot remain in the tube, but the cap can be refitted, even without the tamper seal.)

guides:

http://www.mercedesmedic.com/diy-transmission-oil-change-722-6/

http://www.rubicon-trail.com/pdf/722.6oil-change.pdf

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1334827-photo-diy-722-6x-transmission-fluid.html

Thanks again. Waiting for Mercedes to come back with a quote to change the oil. (They have been confused by the imported VIN and couldn't quote "off the cuff"). Not sure how bad it will be £

I ended up ordering the side mouldings (under the door) from MB - they were about £100 each. I'll have a go at changing them when I'm back from a work trip. Shouldn't be too hard. 

I'll keep you posted. 

FYI tomorrow I'm seeing the local specialist for the check engine light and I'll have it fixed once and for all. 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Stuckmojo wrote:

Arnie wrote:

The 5-speed box is pretty-much bomb-proof and  actually more robust than the 7-speed, which has been plagued by various problems of early failures and harsh and random shifting. Some 5-speeds (early ones) had a TC drain plug; others not. You probably have a dipstick tube at the rear of the engine bay, capped-off with a black cap with a red seal-tab. You can break the seal, remove the cap and insert a dipstick (bought from MB) to measure fluid levels when you  refill. (Unfortunately the special dipstick is too long, and cannot remain in the tube, but the cap can be refitted, even without the tamper seal.)

guides:

http://www.mercedesmedic.com/diy-transmission-oil-change-722-6/

http://www.rubicon-trail.com/pdf/722.6oil-change.pdf

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1334827-photo-diy-722-6x-transmission-fluid.html

Thanks again. Waiting for Mercedes to come back with a quote to change the oil. (They have been confused by the imported VIN and couldn't quote "off the cuff"). Not sure how bad it will be £

I ended up ordering the side mouldings (under the door) from MB - they were about £100 each. I'll have a go at changing them when I'm back from a work trip. Shouldn't be too hard. 

I'll keep you posted. 

FYI tomorrow I'm seeing the local specialist for the check engine light and I'll have it fixed once and for all. 

Mercedes quoted £400 + for the gearbox oil change. Wow.  Havent' booked it as they won't be able to keep the car for any time longer than the half day required for the job. Some service...

I'll see what my indie says about this. Back later with report. Cheers 

Arnie
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

The transmission fluid will be expensive, but the process is not any different to changing the fluid in older, conventional gearboxes. You will also need a new filter and gasket.

Oil may cost £180 for 10 litres

​Filter and gasket £60


Dipstick £20

​Labour ?

If there is no torque converter drain plug, one trick is to disconnect the hose from the gearbox to the gearbox oil cooler, run the engine for a minute and the oil will be pumped out.

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Hi, yes, now that I've spoken to the indie (he's brilliant) he explained that it's what he'll do. (leaving the car with him in a couple of weeks after a little TLC at a body shop)

jdring
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

OK so I watched this thread from the beginning and went through it again.  What was the final analysis of the cost of Importing a G55?

I got a quote to import a G55, lets say £30k worth, from N.America. It looks like:

Shipping to UK

£1600

UK port fees

£625

UK port collection

£250

MOT Test

£55

UK modifications to pass MOT

£299

DVLA first registration fee

£55

12 months road tax

£245

Number plates

£24

Management Fee

£499

Total

£3652

 

Then Import Tax at about £6.4k based on £30k valuation.

 

So all in, over £10k to import.  Most of the line items are reasonable, but they add up.  The Shipping/UK Port and collection, plus the management fee are the sticklers.  But not sure I would want the hassle of doing each myself.  It has to be a nice left hooker to be serious about it.

 

Any comments on the above compared to your shipping from UAE?

 

 

 

 

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

It's about right. In my case I arranged the shipping myself and paid the above for the rest. note that my car was already "my" car so no import duty as I'd owned it for 6 months prior relocation. 

Wouldn't Europe be a better bet than the US for this? No shipping. Ideally, find a car in Greece/Spain somewhere with no salt on the roads.

Or Dubai, of course. The very cheapest cars are there. easy enought to have one inspected and bought. 

jdring
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Its on a whim at the moment.  A work colleague in Canada has one he is thinking of selling.  Better the devil you know and all that. Plus the prices in N.America are more favourable than, say, Germany.

I am also warming up to a possible Diesel V6/V8.  Like a GD290 (V6) or a GD400 (V8).  I have had several V6 petrol and diesel Merc saloons/estates and all been good.   Worst car was a C200 Diesel. Slower than a GD300.

Stuckmojo
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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

Good luck with the process in any case. 

I am not fond of diesel engines, the 500 is probably the ideal car. But I couldn't not have that M113K engine as it was within budget :)

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Re: Importing my G55 from the UAE - Process

GD290 is five cylinder engine not a v6! Thought stil goes well if you can find one, but it's not a v8